Wednesday 30 October 2013

Review: Dead Sexy Dragon - Lolita Lopez


Stig Wyvern is ready for his transformation. A dragon shifter who goes through violent phases during his mating period, Stig plans to lock himself in a small cave beneath his isolated home. But his dark secret is threatened when a desperate young woman appears on his doorstep.

Cora Cardenas has nowhere else to go. She’s in deep trouble with some really nasty people and Stig is the only person she can trust. That he’s strong, gorgeous, and makes her tingle with the simplest of smiles is an added bonus. Soon, Cora realizes Stig is hiding something from her—something that may explain the strange noises coming from the basement at night.

Now as the sexual tension—and danger—escalates, Stig needs to get Cora out of his house. But his inner beast has other ideas. He’s found his mate—and she’s not going anywhere . . .

Dragon Heat Series:
Dead Sexy Dragon
Red Hot Dragon

Visit Lolita Lopez's website for more information

It's no secret that I have a thing for dragons so of course when I see a book about dragon shifters I immediately want to read it! I couldn't wait to start reading Lolita Lopez's dragon series with Dead Sexy Dragon especially since it's a novella and therefore perfect to fit in when I didn't have a huge amount of time to read. I have to say I'm intrigued by the world the author has created, I like the idea of the practically immortal dragons living in secret amongst us and I'm even more curious about the idea of the human members of the Knights of St. George who hunt them. There is a lot of potential for some really interesting world building there - I wonder if we might see a knight fall in love with a dragon at some point in the series?

I know that stories have to move quickly when they're a novella, the author has a limited number of words to work with and obviously that means that things happen faster than they would in a full length novel and I can deal with that. Unfortunately in this case I found it difficult to believe that these characters go from friends who have the hots to each other to declaring their undying love for each other within the space of a couple of days. It did help that they have history together but I still didn't find it believable. I also felt that Cora's reaction to finding out Stig was a dragon were unrealistic, considering she isn't supposed to know that dragons exist she takes the news completely in her stride and hardly even questions him about it.

As much as I had problems with the story it is undoubtedly a sexy read. The couple have fantastic chemistry and I enjoyed reading about their sexy times. I think this series has a lot of potential but I want to learn more about the dragons and their abilities and their ongoing war with the knights in the next instalment. I'm hoping these books will just get better and better when the author has had more time to flesh out the world she's created.

Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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Tuesday 29 October 2013

Review: Trust in Me - J. Lynn

From the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of WAIT FOR YOU, this is the story of Cam and Avery’s sizzling romance as you’ve never seen it before, told exclusively from Cam’s perspective…

Cameron Hamilton is used to getting what he wants, especially when it comes to women. But when Avery Morgansten comes crashing into his life – literally – he finally meets the one person who can resist his soulful baby blues. But Cam’s not ready to give up – he can’t get this feisty and intriguing girl out of his head.

Avery has secrets, secrets that keep her from admitting the feelings Cam knows she has for him. What will it take to help him break down her barriers and gain her trust? Or will he be shut out of Avery’s life, losing his first real shot at the kind of love that lasts forever?

Wait for You Series:
Wait for You
Trust in Me
Be with Me (2013)
Stay with Me (2014)

Visit J. Lynn's website for more information

I absolutely loved Wait for You and I fell head over heels for Cam when I read that book so I was incredibly excited when I first found out we were getting to see the story from his point of view. I was looking forward to getting inside his head and seeing exactly what he thought of Avery and why he was so persistent in his pursuit of her. As anyone who is a fan of J. Lynn / Jennifer L. Armentrout would expect Trust in Me is incredibly well written, it has some very swoon worthy moments and made me fall even more in love with Cam than ever. Unfortunately it just doesn't add much to Avery and Cam's story.

I don't mind this new trend of re-telling books from a different character's point of view but it only really works for me when they have something new to tell us, something that we haven't seen before that will give us extra insight into the story that we didn't get the first time around. Actually I'm more of a fan of stories that are follow ups to the first book but from the guy's point of view, I'd rather see how the couple is getting on after the end of their previous book and I think telling part of their happy ever after from the opposite POV is a fantastic idea (I'm thinking of Losing It and the follow up Keeping Her by Cora Carmack when I say that). Unfortunately in the case of Trust in Me we get pretty much the entire story of Wait for You repeated but from Cam's POV instead of Avery's and I did find myself starting to get bored. It might have worked better for a novella but when you're talking over 200 pages it needs more than that to hold my interest.

The story does give us a bit more insight into Cam's sister Teresa and his best friend Jase which was nice since they are the main couple in the next book, Be with Me, but I wanted more. Like I already said Trust in Me was very well written and I did enjoy it but just not as much as I'd hoped to and I think perhaps if I'd left it longer after reading Wait for You I would have enjoyed it more. It was great to get inside Cam's head and I'm sure anyone who loved the first book will still find this a worthy read though. I'm still desperate to get my hands on Be with Me and J. Lynn / Jennifer L. Armentrout is still one of my favourite authors.

Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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Monday 28 October 2013

Review: Game for Trouble - Karen Erickson

He’ll play dirty to get what he wants . . .

Willow Cavanaugh would be happy if she never saw Nick Hamilton again. Sure, they had a short-lived fling many years ago, but now he’s back and acting like he wants a second chance. But Willow knows he’s way too much of a playboy to want to settle down with one woman. Plus, she’s got her heart set on a piece of real estate for her catering business that it turns out Nick owns . . .

Nick may be at the top of his game, but all he really seems to want is Willow. When he offers to sell Willow his commercial space if she agrees to a series of dates with him, jumping back into bed after each one seems like an inevitability. But what about when real feelings get involved?

Game for It Series:
Game for Marriage
Game for Trouble
Further titles & release dates to be confirmed

Visit Karen Erickson's website for more information.

I absolutely loved Game for Marriage when I read it earlier this year so I couldn't wait to get my hands on the sequel Game for Trouble. I had high hopes for Nick and Willow's story and I'm happy to say that Karen Erickson has created another sexy story with great characters. I don't think I enjoyed it quite as much as the first book but it's still a solid romance and one that I'd be happy to recommend.

Nick and Willow have history, they had a very hot fling one summer several years ago but Nick broke Willow's heart when he walked away from her. They hadn't seen each other for years but now that Willow's best friend Sheridan has married Nick's team mate Jared they can't seem to get away from each other. Nick has always regretted walking away from Willow, in fact it was something he never really wanted to do in the first place, and now he is determined to claim the only woman he has ever loved. Willow is still attracted to Nick but she knows how easy it would be to fall back in love with him and she is terrified of having her heart broken all over again. Can Nick convince her that if she gives him her heart again he'll treasure it forever?

I loved Nick, like Jared he is cocky and arrogant but he manages to pull it off without becoming annoying. He is confident with his looks and body and has never had any trouble getting women to go out with him but Willow is different, she's the only one he cares about and the only one who seems immune to his charms. He is desperate to win her around but he has no idea how to go about it. I enjoyed the scenes where he was asking Jared and Sheridan for advice, it was nice to catch up with the previous couple and their insights into Nick and Willow's relationship were amusing. I loved how persistent Nick was, he shows over and over again how much he cares for Willow. He wants her in his bed but he also wants to look out for her and protect her.

I'm going to be honest and say I didn't like Willow as much as I expected to, I could understand why she was so scared to trust Nick again and I didn't have a problem with that in the beginning. He needed to work at gaining her trust and I was happy with that, I also liked the fact that she was so independent and wanted to make her own way in the world rather than live off of her father's money. What I didn't like was the fact that even after she admitted to herself that she loved Nick and that he loved her she wasn't willing to apologise for the mistakes she'd made. Nick worked his butt off for the whole book to win her around and I really wanted some kind of grand gesture from her towards the end to prove that she was worthy of his attention but once again it was Nick who had to come to her after she'd pushed him away. I loved the actions Nick took and they definitely made me swoon but I'd have liked more to have come from Willow's direction. That's very much a personal preference though and wasn't enough to stop me from enjoying the story.

Their chemistry was off the charts hot, once they gave in to their attraction there was no stopping them which fantastic. They literally can't keep their hands off each other which lead to a very hot public encounter! Game for Trouble was a fab story and I'm looking forward to reading more from Karen Erickson in the future.

Source: Received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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Review: My Lady Quicksilver - Bec McMaster

Determined to destroy the Echelon she despises, Rosalind Fairchild is on seemingly easy mission. Get in. Uncover the secrets of her brother's disappearance. And get out.

In order to infiltrate the Nighthawks and find their leader, Sir Jasper Lynch, Rosalind will pose as their secretary. But she doesn't count on Lynch being such a dangerously charismatic man, challenging her at every turn, forcing her to re-evaluate everything she knows about the enemy.

He could be her most dangerous nemesis—or the ally she never dreamed existed.

London Steampunk Series:
Kiss of Steel
Tarnished Knight (Novella)
Heart of Iron
My Lady Quicksilver
Forged by Desire (2014)

Visit Bec McMaster's website for more information

I'm a huge fan of Bec McMaster's London Steampunk series so I couldn't wait to start reading the third book My Lady Quicksilver. Unfortunately this wasn't my favourite book in the series but it is still an enjoyable story and one I'd recommend reading if you've enjoyed the previous instalments. I think the main reason I didn't feel as connected with this story is that we don't really see much of the previous characters, the earlier books (and novella) have revolved heavily around Blade and his gang and I missed the dynamic of their group in this book. We have previously met Rosalind and Jasper but didn't know either of them well so I didn't feel as invested in their story.

We have come across Rosalind briefly as her alter ego Mercury, she was one of the leaders of the humanist group before there was dissension in the ranks and a splinter group broke off to make more violent protests. Rosalind still believes in her cause but she doesn't like the new direction some of her people have taken. At the moment she is more concerned with the disappearance of her brother though, he has been missing for several months and her only hope of finding him lies with the Nighthawks so she decides to infiltrate them undercover to make use of their resources. Jasper is the leader of the Nighthawks and as such he is working towards bringing down the humanist movement, he is naturally Rosalind's enemy but as she gets to know him and sees just how much damage the splinter group is causing she starts to question everything she previously believed in.

I'll admit that I wasn't a huge fan of Rosalind before I started this book but she actually grew on me quite quickly. She has strong beliefs about humans being equal to the echelon but she doesn't think it's right to resort to extreme measures to get their point across. She has principles and although her actions aren't completely legal there is a line that she won't cross. Rosalind cares deeply for her family and she is prepared to risk her life for those she loves, she isn't afraid to stand up and be counted and I admired that side to her. Jasper is a proud man and a good leader, he cares about the men under his command and does his best to protect them. His Nighthawks all respect and trust him which says a lot about his character. He is looked down on by the echelon but they are more than happy to put his skills to use as the leader of their police force.

I really liked both of these characters individually but I had trouble accepting them as a couple, I think I just found it difficult to believe that someone as smart as Jasper could be fooled for so long by Rosalind. Seeing him switch back and forth between the "two" women irritated me, of course we know that Rosalind and Mercury are the same person but he doesn't so his actions got on my nerves. I was even more irritated by Rosalind's jealousy because he was attracted to Mercury, it just seemed ridiculous! That whole love triangle feel to the story was something I could really have done without. I enjoyed the sex scenes and they certainly had great chemistry but it didn't sit right with me that Rosalind hadn't been honest with him about who she really was. I think that's very much down to personal taste though & I'm sure it won't bother most people as much as it did me.

What I enjoyed most was learning more about the Nighthawks and discovering more about the plans of the humanists. I think there are going to be some very interesting developments as the story continues and I'm definitely looking forward to carrying on with the series.

Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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Saturday 26 October 2013

Review: Bonds of Hope - Lynda Aicher

Quinn Andrews has a lot to learn about the world of BDSM. Once America's sweetheart, she has an opportunity to revive her career by playing a sexual submissive in a highly anticipated new series. Quinn is ready to throw herself into the role, and her hometown's premier sex club, The Den, is the ideal place for a crash course.

At first Marcus Reese is reluctant to take on Quinn's erotic education, despite his intense attraction to the stunning starlet. While she fulfills his every command perfectly, she's also a consummate actress—and Marcus is determined to uncover the real woman hidden behind the mask.

Quinn's been taking direction all her life, so submitting to a Dom comes easily. But it's not just the most amazing sex she's ever had—Marcus challenges her to define her own needs and make her own decisions. And when her training is over, Quinn will have to choose between continuing to play a part in her own life, or living by her own rules.

Wicked Play Series:
Bonds of Trust
Bonds of Need
Bonds of Desire
Bonds of Hope

Visit Lynda Aicher's website for more information

Actress Quinn has lived her whole life in the public spotlight, looking to lose her good girl image she has agreed to star as a submissive in a new TV show but the problem is that she knows nothing of the BDSM lifestyle. In order to make her role believable she has signed up for a week of intensive lessons at her local sex club, The Den. Marcus is the Dom who is in control of teaching Quinn to be the perfect submissive and he is convinced that it is more than just a job to her. He is determined to unlock her inner desires and make her realise what she has been missing out on but with her whole life scrutinised by the public will Quinn be brave enough to admit what she really wants?

Bonds of Hope is the fourth book in the Wicked Play series and although each story works as a stand alone I'd happily recommend reading all of them. I have become a big fan of this series and the author's writing style and I hope we have lots more books to come about these characters in the future. Marcus is one of the newer owners of The Den but he has worked there since it's opening six years ago and is a trusted and popular Dom. He is a very easy character to like, he is comfortable with who and what he is and doesn't feel the need to explain himself or his actions to anyone. At first he isn't keen on the idea of training an actress but from the moment he meets Quinn he can't deny his attraction to her. He senses her submissive side but it is hard for him to tell when she is playing a role and when she is just being herself. She intrigues him though and he wants to get to know the real person she is inside rather than the front that she shows to the world. I loved the fact that Marcus doesn't try to deny his feelings or push her away when he starts to care about her, he knows what he wants and he just has to figure out a way to get Quinn to agree to be his permanent submissive.

I had mixed feelings about Quinn at first, she comes across as quite naive and judgemental at first so I wasn't sure if I was going to like her. She actually started to grow on me quite quickly though, it doesn't take long for you to see that she has a lot of inner strength when you look beyond the surface. She is actually a lot braver than I gave her credit for and it was interesting seeing her start to realise how much power she had. She has spent a long time letting other people run her life for her, from her controlling mother to her publicist and manager she has let other people dictate her actions without really considering why she didn't make her own choices. As she spends more time with Marcus and she learns a lot about herself and does a lot of growing up, she changes a great deal and actually starts to stand up and make her own plans for her future.

If you've read any of the other books in this series you'll know to expect plenty of hot sex in Bonds of Hope, Marcus certainly knows his way around a flogger and he is happy to teach Quinn everything he knows about sexual submission! The scenes in the club aren't the only ones though and I think some of my favourites were when the couple were in the privacy of Marcus's apartment. I enjoyed the character development and the way they were both prepared to make compromises so they could be a couple, they both have to overcome their jealousy over each other's respective jobs but I was pleased this was something they could discuss like adults before making a decision. There was one thing that I wasn't a huge fan of but I can't really talk about that without spoilers so I'm not going to go into details here, I just felt that it forced their issues somewhat and I would have preferred them to have dealt with things without that hanging over their heads. That was a fairly minor problem though and overall I found myself really enjoying their story. This is another solid instalment to the series and one I'm sure fans will enjoy.

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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Review: Bonds of Desire - Lynda Aicher

Lawyer Allison English never planned to return to The Den—despite her naughty fantasies about being bound by owner Seth Matthews. But when club guest Tyler Wysong is injured in a scene, Seth turns to Allie for help. Aroused by both men, Allie should turn the case down. But she can't… . . .

After his bad experience, Tyler has no interest in being with another Dom. Yet he can't deny his attraction to Master Seth. When Seth offers him a place to stay, Tyler agrees—if Allie will stay too. But what good is a chaperone who adds to his temptation?

Living with two subs brings out Seth's protective instincts, though Allie insists she's not into the lifestyle, and Tyler swears he's done with it. But the chemistry between the trio prompts them to agree to submit to him for one week, and he'll show them both the true pleasure that a Dom can provide.

The intimacy could break them all, or bind them together forever . . .

Wicked Play Series:
Bonds of Trust
Bonds of Need
Bonds of Desire
Bonds of Hope

Visit Lynda Aicher's website for more information

Bonds of Desire is the third book in Lynda Aicher's Wicked Play series and I have to say it was also my favourite. We have already met both Allie and Seth in previous books, not only are they friends with the previous main characters but Seth is also the third owner of The Den.

Allie has been secretly fantasising about submitting to Seth since she first visited The Den with Kendra and Cali but she has no intention of taking it any further. She is just too focused on her career to take time out for a relationship right now. But when Tyler is injured in the club Seth asks her to step in and help protect Tyler's legal rights and after seeing what happened to him she is unable to refuse. Tyler is wary of being around another Dom but he badly needs a place to stay while he recuperates and agrees to move in with Seth temporarily but only if Allie will stay with them too. All of them are attracted to each other but all have very good reasons to avoid getting involved, especially in something as complicated as a threesome. As their attraction grows Seth helps to show both Allie and Tyler how good life can be with a real Dom but can they find a way to make their relationship work on a more permanent basis?

I have enjoyed Lynda Aicher's realistic portrayals of the BDSM lifestyle throughout the series but I think this book is the one I've had the strongest emotional reaction to. My heart broke for Tyler and the situation he found himself in, as a male prostitute he had incredibly low self esteem and had never really had anyone who cared about him before. He was abused horrifically by a "Dom" who should have known better, the assault and the consequences aren't sugar coated and were at times painful to read about but I was pleased that it was shown how abhorrent the attacker's behaviour was, there is no attempt to make this seem like normal BDSM because of course it isn't. The other Doms from the club stepped in and did what they could to stop things but if I'm honest I wanted them to step in sooner, I understand why they couldn't but that doesn't make me feel any happier about it.

I think what I liked most about Seth was how much he genuinely cared for both Tyler and Allie. He was horrified that Tyler had been so badly injured and wanted to help him press charges against his abuser, not because he was worried about the club's reputation but because he was so disgusted by the other man's actions. You do have to suspend belief a little to accept that Tyler would be ready to even attempt a sexual relationship with Allie and Seth quite as quickly as he does but I can forgive that in fiction, especially when they were all so well suited to each other. They all bring different personality traits to the relationship and I honestly felt they were stronger as a threesome than they were as individuals or split into any form of couple. I believed in the connection between them and lets face it Allie is one lucky lady because Seth and Tyler were both incredibly hot!

I've already said that Bonds of Desire was my favourite book in the series, it works well as a stand alone story but I've enjoyed both previous books too so would happily recommend any of them. This is a great introduction series for anyone who is new to BDSM, it offers a realistic portrayal of the lifestyle without being too full on just for impact and I'm looking forward to continuing the series.

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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Friday 25 October 2013

Cover Reveal: Banished - Liz de Jager

I have known Liz almost as long as I've been blogging and consider her a good friend so I couldn't have been more excited when she signed a book deal with Tor for her YA urban fantasy trilogy. It's always special to see one of your friends achieve their dream and I'm absolutely dying to get my hands on a copy of her debut novel Banished when it releases next year. I've actually already pre-ordered my copy from Amazon and February 2014 seems such a LONG way away! Especially now I've seen the AMAZING cover!! Just take a look at the awesome below & tell me you're not in love:

and here's the blurb:
Sworn to protect, honour and slay — because chaos won’t banish itself

Kit is proud to be a Blackhart, now she’s living with her unorthodox cousins and sharing their strange lives. Especially since their home-schooling includes spells, fighting enemy fae and using ancient weapons.

But it’s not until she rescues a rather handsome fae prince, fighting for his life on the edge of Blackhart Manor, that her training really kicks in. With her family away on various missions, Kit must protect Prince Thorn, rely on new friends and use her own unfamiliar magic to stay ahead of Thorn’s enemies.

As things go from bad to apocalyptic, fae battle fae in a war that threatens to spill into the human world. Then Kit pits herself against the Elder Gods themselves – it’s that or lose everyone she’s learnt to love.

What do you think? I'm pretty sure all the UK bloggers are as excited as I am since Liz was an incredible blogger for many years now before she signed her publishing contract. I'd love to know what you think of the cover though! I think it's absolutely stunning and I desperately need a copy to take pride of place on my bookshelves :o)

Thursday 24 October 2013

Review: Kiss of the Night - Sherrilyn Kenyon

Prepare to enter a world full of richly imagined mythology - a world where dark and dangerous heroes fight to protect us. 

Prepare to enter an endless battle.

Prepare to lose yourself . . .

Dark-Hunter Wulf is an ancient Viking warrior with a useful but extremely aggravating power - amnesia. No one who meets him in person can remember him five minutes later. It makes it easy to have one-night stands, but hard to have a meaningful relationship, and without true love he can never regain his soul. Then he meets Cassandra, the one woman who can remember him. However, as the princess of the cursed race Wulf is sworn to hunt, she is forbidden to him.
The Dark-Hunters Series:
The Beginning (Short Story)
Fantasy Lover
Dragonswan (Novella) (Were-Hunter 0.5)
Night Pleasures
Night Embrace
Dance with the Devil
Kiss of the Night
Night Play (Were-Hunter 1)
Seize the Night
Sins of the Night
Unleash the Night (Were-Hunter 2)
Dark Side of the Moon (Were-Hunter 3)
The Dream-Hunter (Dream-Hunter 1)
Fear the Darkness (Short Story)
Devil May Cry
Upon the Midnight Clear (Dream-Hunter 2)
Dream Chaser (Dream-Hunter 3)
One Silent Night
Dream Warrior (Dream-Hunter 4)
Bad Moon Rising (Hellchaser 1, Were-Hunter 4)
Dark-Hunter: An Insider's Guide (Hellchaser 2)
No Mercy (Were-Hunter 5)
The Guardian (Dream-Hunter 5, Were-Hunter 6, Hellchaser 3)
Time Untime (Were-Hunter 7, Hellchaser 4)
Dark Bites (Short Story Anthology)
Son of No One (Were-Hunter 8, Hellchaser 5)
Dragonbane (Were-Hunter 9, Hellchaser 6)
Dragonmark (2016)

Chronicles of Nick Series:
(This is a YA spin off from Sherrilyn Kenyon's adult Dark-Hunters series)
Invasion (2016)
Intensity (2017)

Visit Sherrilyn Kenyon's website for more information

Kiss of the Night is the fifth book in the Dark-Hunters series and another fabulous book by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I have been absolutely devouring these books since I started them and the only reason I'm happy to be so late joining the DH bandwagon is that I've got so many books to work my way through before I'll have to start waiting between instalments like everyone else! I was a little confused when I first started reading this one because the time line for the story starts at around the same time as events in book 3, Night Embrace. I was worried that I'd somehow ended up reading the books in the wrong order but it doesn't take long for events to catch up and overtake the previous books.

We hadn't seen a great deal of Wulf in the previous books but I found myself quickly coming to like him. Thanks to a curse placed on him Wulf has a very unusual effect on anyone he meets, apart from members of his family any human he comes across forgets everything about him within 5 minutes of their meeting. As soon as Wulf walks away he is wiped from their memory which makes it incredibly difficult to form any kind of lasting friendships or even interact with members of his staff. Other than his fellow Dark-Hunters the only person who remembers him is his distant nephew Chris. Wulf drives Chris insane with his overprotective ways and thanks to the pressure he puts on him to produce an heir but the two of them have a strong bond and there is a lot of love between them. It was actually really nice to see one of the Dark-Hunters who still has a connection to his family centuries after he became immortal but you can imagine how hard it must be for Wulf to watch his family members continually age and die while he always remains the same. The grief of losing so many people has changed him and Wulf finds it hard to let people get too close.

When he first meets Cassandra he has no idea who she is or that she is an Apollite and therefore one of his greatest enemies. He saves her life almost by accident and never expects to see her again but when their paths next cross he is shocked to discover that she remembers him. That is something that has never happened before and instantly draws him to her, until he finds out about her heritage that is. Cassandra knows very little about the Apollites other than the fact that they killed her mother and her sisters and that they have spent years hunting her too. She doesn't understand why they are after her but she wants to make the most of the time she has left before hitting her 27th birthday kills her. Wulf is torn by his protective feelings towards Cassandra when who she is makes her automatically his enemy. She makes him question everything he has ever been told about the Apollites and he doesn't know what to do with the new information. I have to say I loved the way Cassandra stood up for herself and her people, she makes it very hard for readers not to sympathise with the Apollites and even to a certain extent the Daimons which is something I wasn't expecting.

I don't want to say too much more about the story other than the fact that I loved it. Wulf and Cassandra have a very difficult journey to face and it seems almost impossible for them to have any kind of happy ever after but thankfully Sherrilyn Kenyon is able to masterfully turn things around for them both. It was also great to catch up with some of the characters we already know and love and see how they're getting on. I'm falling more and more in love with Acheron every time he steps onto the page and I absolutely can't wait for his book! Kiss of the Night is a fantastic instalment to the series, a really emotional read that tugs at your heartstrings and will completely change your opinion of certain characters by the end. I can't wait to find out what happens next!

Source: Received from Piatkus in exchange for an honest review

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Wednesday 23 October 2013

Review: The Falconer - Elizabeth May

Lady Aileana Kameron was destined for a life which revolved around Edinburgh's social events - until the moment a faery killed her mother.

Now, between high society balls, Aileana slaughters faeries in secret. Every night, armed with modified percussion pistols, explosives and a killer instinct, she sheds her aristocratic façade and goes hunting.

She's looking for revenge, but she'll kill any fae that crosses her path.

But there's another battle looming - one her mysterious mentor, Kiaran MacKay won't even talk about and it has world-altering consequences.

Aileana will have to decide how much she's willing to lose - and just how far she'll go to avenge her mother.

The Falconer Series:
The Falconer
Further titles and release dates to be confirmed

Visit Elizabeth May's website for more information

Since the day that Aileana witnessed her mother's murder she has been aware of the faeries that walk amongst us unseen by most humans. At a time in her life when she should be focusing on attending balls and attracting a wealthy husband she is leading a secret double life. While pretending to act like the young lady she was brought up to be she sneaks out at night to hunt and kill the fae with the help of her mentor Kiaran. What she wants most is to track down the faery who killed her mother so that she can have her revenge. It isn't easy keeping her night time activities a secret and she knows that if she is caught she will lose her reputation and be shunned by polite society but that's a risk she is willing to take if it means stopping the fae from killing more innocent victims.

There has been a lot of hype surrounding Elizabeth May's debut novel The Falconer and it's been at the top of my wish list since I first heard about it. Just one look at that stunning cover and I was sold but the blurb hooked me even more especially when I heard Aileana compared to one of Buffy's ancestors who fights the fae instead of vampires. I'll admit I was a little nervous that it wouldn't live up to my expectations but I'm very happy to say that this is a fabulous start to a new series and it's one I can't wait to continue. The Falconer is historical urban fantasy at it's best with a strong, kick-ass heroine, a rich historical setting and plenty of action. It also has a hint of steampunk in the weapons and gadgets that Aileana has designed to help her fight the much stronger, faster fae.

Aileana is a fabulous heroine, she has changed a lot since witnessing her mother's murder and is no longer the spoilt young lady that she once was. She has started to realise how trivial her life used to be, how unimportant balls and afternoon teas really are and how little she cares about finding a suitable husband and getting married. She has more important things to worry about like protecting the city from the murderous fae that seem to be arriving in greater numbers every day. It is very difficult for her to keep quiet about her secret life, especially when the gossips are all talking about her behind her back because of the circumstances surrounding her mother's death. She finds it difficult to hold her tongue but knows that nobody would believe her even if she did tell them what really happened. Aileana has had to learn to become tough, she has put a lot of effort into learning to fight and into creating the weapons she now uses to hunt. Her mentor Kiaran has secrets of his own and she isn't sure how much she can trust him but she didn't have anyone else to turn to for help so they have formed an uneasy alliance.

As much as I loved Aileana I also really enjoyed getting to know the side characters too. I'm incredibly curious about Kiaran and can't wait to learn more about him but I think Derrick, the honey drinking pixie, was probably my favourite, he was always amusing and added a nice bit of comic relief to the story. Where The Falconer really excels is in it's fight scenes, the fae that Aileana must battle against were creepy and well described and it was easy to picture yourself in the middle of the story. I don't want to say too much about the plot because I think it's better to let things unfold as you're reading but I really enjoyed Elizabeth May's take on faerie mythology and I'm definitely looking forward to finding out how events unfold as the series continues. I will warn you now that the story has quite an evil cliffhanger but I was enjoying the book so much that I can't really mark it down for that. The Falconer really is a fantastic debut and one I'd highly recommend to fans of urban fantasy with a historical setting, Elizabeth May is definitely an author to watch out for!

Source: Received from Gollancz in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Hardback / Kindle:

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Review: Her Accidental Boyfriend - Robin Bielman

Faking it with this flirt never felt so real . . .

Kagan Owens has a secret. One she thought she’d escaped by leaving New York, but when her past follows her to her temporary new life, Kagan lets a teeny lie slip. And now the town’s biggest playboy and flirt, Shane Sullivan, has become her pretend boyfriend—just until she’s ready to return to NYC. But the handsome, fun-loving Shane makes it tough to determine where their friendly agreement begins and ends . . .

Shane has no intention of settling down—in fact, his job depends on it, and nothing’s more important than his work. Still, he can’t help but agree to Kagan’s scheme, if only to find out more about the mysterious beauty. But when every touch from her sets his heart and body on fire, he realizes playing an accidental boyfriend may be more than he bargained for—and more than he can give.

Secret Wishes Series:
Kissing the Maid of Honor
Her Accidental Boyfriend
Wild About Her Wingman

Visit Robin Bielman's website for more information.

I do love a small town romance and after really enjoying Kissing the Maid of Honor I was looking forward to going back to Cascade in Her Accidental Boyfriend. Once again Robin Bielman hit the spot and written a sweet, funny contemporary romance with great main characters and a wonderful supporting cast.

Kagan left New York to get away from her over controlling father and his plans to marry her off to one of their mutual colleagues. She is sick of always being told what to do and of working long hours for her father's company and just wants some time away to figure out what she wants from life. She's been in Cascade for a few months now and has enjoyed being somewhere that nobody knows her history or her family name, she loves her job as a waitress in the local bar and has enjoyed rediscovering her creative side making jewellery. The last thing she is looking for is a fling before she heads back to New York, especially not one with the local playboy but when her past catches up with her she ends up asking Shane to pretend to be her boyfriend. I really respected Kagan for making a break from her father and wanting to stand on her own two feet, she hasn't been happy for a long time but she has found peace in Cascade and for the first time she finds herself surrounded by people who genuinely care about her. It was lovely to see her start to open up to Shane and his family and I enjoyed seeing them all get to know each other.

I loved Shane in the first book (he is Sela's brother and Luke's best friend) so was excited when I discovered this would be his story. Shane has been intrigued by Kagan ever since she arrived in town but she has consistently refused his requests to go on a date. When she asks him for a favour he isn't above taking advantage of that and decides to make the most of his pretend boyfriend status. The more time the pair of them spend together acting like a couple the harder it is to figure out what is real and what is a fantasy. They were already friends but it's starting to feel like a lot more and both of them are quickly in over their heads. Shane is scared of getting involved because he's worried he'll let Kagan down but for once we have a guy who actually talks about his feelings and explains his fears to his partner. Kagan does a great job of reassuring him and helping him put aside events in his past that he has always wrongly shouldered the blame for.

Kagan and Shane make a wonderful couple, they are friends first and have a deep respect for each other but they also have great chemistry. The Entangled Publishing Bliss imprint is actually quite a mild range when it comes to heat levels so although we see some of the build up there are no detailed sex scenes, that isn't a problem but I do think it's nice to know what to expect when you pick up a book so that's the only reason I'm mentioning it. Her Accidental Boyfriend is a feel good story, I smiled the whole way through and the ending was utterly adorable (it may possibly have brought a happy tear to my eye but if you ask me to confirm that I'll deny it!). If you like small town stories with lots of meddling busybodies and gossip, kooky characters and great friendships then you're sure to enjoy this series. Both books so far have worked perfectly as standalone stories and I'd happily recommend either of them to contemporary romance fans.

Source: Received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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Monday 21 October 2013

Book to TV: Bitten - Kelley Armstrong

Have you seen the first teaser trailer for the upcoming TV show based on Bitten by Kelley Armstrong yet? This show looks like it's going to be AWESOME!!

Show Description:
(taken from the press release posted on Kelley Armstrong's tumblr page here)
Set in Toronto and upper New York State, BITTEN follows the adventures of 28-year-old Elena Michaels, the world’s only female werewolf. An orphan, Elena thought she finally found her “happily ever after” with her new love Clayton, until her life changed forever. With one small bite, the normal life she craved was taken away and she was left to survive life with the Pack.

Seeking refuge in Toronto, Elena constructs the façade of a normal life, working as a photographer and dating a new man. But when bodies turn up in the backwoods of Stonehaven, the rural mansion that has served as a werewolf sanctuary for generations, and the Pack is threatened by an unknown predator, they turn to Elena for help. Caught between two worlds and two loves, Elena returns to Stonehaven out of duty, but once back in the fold she realizes that when push comes to shove, like any true alpha female, she’ll stop at nothing to defend her family – including putting her own life on the line.

An erotically charged thriller, BITTEN examines the age-old battle between man and beast as human and inhuman forces come to a head in one small town and within one woman’s body.

(Taken from SpoilerTV here)
Laura Vandervoort (Smallville, Ted), Greyston Holt (Once Upon a Time), Greg Bryk (A History of Violence), Paul Greene (NCIS), Steve Lund (Haven)

I LOVED Bitten (I think I must be due a re-read before the show comes out!) and I can't wait to watch the show! It comes out in the US in 2014 & I'm hoping we won't have to wait too long for it to hit the UK too.

What do you think? Are you a fan of the books? Are you planning on watching the show? Do you like the castings for Elena and Clayton?

Sunday 20 October 2013

Review: Unbound - Cara McKenna

She set out to find herself, and discovered the darker side of desire.

Merry’s lost a lot recently—first her mother, then close to a hundred pounds. Feeling adrift, she strikes out in search of perspective. A three-week hike through the Scottish Highlands was supposed to challenge her new body and refocus her priorities, but when disaster strikes, she’s forced to seek refuge in the remote home of a brooding, handsome stranger . . .

Rob exiled himself to the Highlands years ago, desperate to escape his own self-destruction. Haunted by regrets, he avoids human contact at all costs…but when Merry turns up injured, he can’t very well run her off. And as he nurses her back to health, Rob can’t resist his guest’s sweet demeanor—or her flirtatious advances. The igniting passion between them rouses a secret appetite Rob has long struggled to keep hidden. But Merry craves nothing more than to help Rob surrender to his desires, and the journey draws the lovers into an entirely different kind of wilderness.

Visit Cara McKenna's website for more information

After her mother's death Merry set out to change her life, first by losing nearly 100 pounds and then by setting out on an adventure. Three weeks trekking across the Scottish Highlands might not be everyone's dream holiday but Merry is looking forward to getting away from it all and discovering just what her new body is capable of. When she is taken ill in the middle of nowhere she has no choice but to seek help at an isolated cottage. Rob left his entire life behind him to exile himself in Scotland, he has spent the last few years avoiding people and trying to put his past mistakes behind him but he can't exactly turn an injured woman away when there is nobody else who can help her. He reluctantly lets Merry stay with him while she recovers and quickly finds that his gruff and secretive nature isn't enough to keep her at arm's length. As Merry draws him further out of his shell Rob must decide whether he is ready to face the world again or whether to continue with his isolated and lonely existence.

Unbound is the first book I've read by Cara McKenna but considering it's one of my favourite reads of the year so far it definitely won't be the last! It takes a lot of skill for a writer to immerse me so fully into a story and to hold my attention for a whole book especially when you only really spend time with the two main characters but that's exactly what she did. I fell in love with both Merry and Rob and enjoyed every minute that I spent with them.

Merry has been through a lot but she has taken steps to change her life and become the woman she always knew she could be. Her weight loss has taken hard work and determination but she is proud of her achievements and disappointed with the reaction she gets from the people who are supposed to be her best friends. She refuses to take on their negativity though and sets out on a journey of self discovery hoping to reconnect with her mother's birth place and at the same time put her own past behind her. I found Merry was immediately a likeable character, she doesn't have the best self image but she is self aware enough to recognise why she feels that way and she wants to be comfortable and confident of her new image. Her journey across the Highlands has shown her just how capable she is and she is relishing the freedom from her normal day to day life and other people's expectations of her.

Rob is an extremely messed up character, he is ashamed of so many things that he did in his past and instead of facing up to his demons he has hidden himself away from the world and is letting life pass him by. It isn't until he starts to get to know Merry that he realises just how much he has been punishing himself but even when he understands that it doesn't make it easy to open up to her and let her in. Along with his tortured past Rob is also hiding a sexual kink that he has always been ashamed of, he may be attracted to Merry but he is worried his needs will be a turn off for her and is too afraid to share them with her. Rob was such an intriguing character, some of the things from his past should be a turn off but I found myself falling for him anyway. I'm not going to spoil things when it comes to his kink but I will say it was hot as hell seeing how happy Merry was to help him fulfil his fantasies!

Merry is such an open and accepting character and she really helps to bring Rob out of his shell. She challenges him to face up to his past and by doing that she helps him learn to live in the present. He starts to question everything and finally starts to deal with his demons rather than run from them. It was great to see how much progress Rob made and I enjoyed seeing Merry's confidence in herself and her own sexuality grow as she took on the role that Rob needed her to. This really is a case of opposites attract, Rob is an introvert who is shy, grumpy and would rather be on his own while Merry is the cheerful life and soul of the party who thrives on being around people. You might think that the two of them together would be a recipe for disaster but they fit together perfectly and both bring out the best in each other. It's been a long time since I loved characters quite as much as I adored these two and there were parts of both of them that I found incredibly easy to relate to.

Unbound is a fabulous novel, one that was much more emotional than I expected and that has huge amounts of depth. Rob is a flawed hero, one who has a habit of letting his past rule the present but his journey was all the more compelling because of that. Along with the emotional growth this story has some of the hottest sex scenes you'll ever come across and it has turned me into an instant Cara McKenna fan. I can't wait to start working my way through her back list and I can't recommend this highly enough to anyone who likes their contemporary romance a little on the kinky side!

Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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Saturday 19 October 2013

Review: Fearsome Dreamer - Laure Eve

There is a world where gods you've never heard of have wound themselves into hearts, and choice has led its history down a different path. Here a fiercely independent country called Angle Tar holds its own against the mass of technologically advanced nations that is World.

Apprentice hedgewitch Vela Rue has had strange dreams all her life; vivid and mysterious and incredibly real. Now she knows that her dreams mean something more, that she has a talent - and that her government will do anything to train her in it.

White is a teenage boy whose unbelievable gifts force him to flee from the fiercely unforgiving World to Angle Tar. There he is taken under the wing of Frith, a government spy who sees him as a prodigy; perhaps even the ultimate weapon they have been waiting for.

But Frith has his own secret motives; and when Rue and White meet, their electric attraction may spell disaster . . . or change everything.

Fearsome Dreamer Series:
Fearsome Dreamer
The Illusionists (July 2014)
Future titles and release dates to be confirmed

Visit Laure Eve's website for more information

Fearsome Dreamer is a novel that is hard to fit into any one category, it manages to have an olde worlde feel to it at the same time as it includes some fantastical futuristic technology. Think alternate history, one small isolated country standing against corporate global domination, magic, dreams that intersect with reality and characters from two completely different worlds colliding and you'll be along the right lines. This is without a doubt one of the most original books I've read in a long time and it's an impressive debut from Laure Eve. She has put a huge amount of effort into building her world but she manages to do it seamlessly so I was never left feeling confused or subjected to info dumping.

Both sides of her world are complete opposites of each other but they are both familiar enough to grasp easily. One one hand you have Angle Tar, a small island country that is cut off from the rest of World. Visiting Angle Tar is like stepping back in time, you have very few forms of transport, most people will spend their entire lives in the same village and life is very simple. They have very little in the way of technology and it's a bit like stepping back into the middle ages. Then on the other hand you have the rest of World, where lives are ruled by technology. People rarely leave their homes because they can visit anywhere on the planet via a virtual reality network, food is created by machines and everyone's lives are monitored constantly. Life in both places couldn't be more different and the two sides are natural enemies but a danger is coming that neither is fully prepared to face and that is where Frith and his Castle colleagues come in. They know an unforeseen enemy is approaching and they are searching for the Talented few who are the only ones with a chance of saving the world.

Rue is a young apprentice hedgewitch who dreams of a better life, she believes she is destined for greatness and when she is offered the chance of travelling to the capital city to discover if she is Talented she jumps at it. All of her training hasn't prepared her for what she is about to face though and learning to use her Talent is the least of her worries. White was forced to run from World when his Talent was discovered and he took refuge in Angle Tar. Frith has brought the two of them together but they come from such different backgrounds that they find it almost impossible to see eye to eye and they instantly rub each other up the wrong way. Rue is supposed to be learning from White but she isn't exactly ready to listen to him, she is out of her depth and struggling to know who to trust. They are attracted to each other but both are suspicious and wary, will they be able to put their differences to one side so they can work together?

I don't want to go into any more detail about the plot so I'll just say that Fearsome Dreamer is a captivating story that had me hooked all the way through. I loved the mishmash of genres and the way the author has woven them all together to create something so unique. As the first book in a trilogy it does leave you with plenty of questions but it wasn't a killer cliffhanger like so many other books I've read recently so as much as I'm excited to carry on reading about Rue and White I'm not left screaming in frustration waiting for the next instalment. If you're looking for something fresh and different then look no further because I'm sure you'll love this story!

Source: Received from Hot Key Books in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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Hardback / Kindle:

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 15 - Who are your book blogging mentors?

I stumbled across the 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge hosted by April from Good Books Good Wine and it looks like so much fun that I have to take part. You can find out all about the challenge and how to join in HERE. Obviously the idea of the challenge is to take part 15 days in a row but I don't have enough time for that and since April is so relaxed over the rules I've decided  dedicate one day a week to the challenge.

The Day 15 topic is: Who are your book blogging mentors?

I've been blogging for nearly four years now and have come across a lot of fantastic blogs and bloggers in that time. It would be impossible to list all of the bloggers who have been mentors to me. I've already listed my blogging BFFs HERE and they have also helped keep me blogging for all this time so I feel they deserve an honourable mention again here but I think I'd like to point out a few of my other blogging influences.

Becky from The Bookette

Becky hasn't been blogging that much recently which is a shame & I really hope she'll be back on the scene more soon but I have to mention her because The Bookette was one of the first blogs I ever started reading. When I started my blog it was a new years resolution to keep track of the books I'd been reading and my thoughts on them. I had no idea that the whole book blogging community existed and Becky was one of the first bloggers I came across. She was so welcoming and always took the time to answer my questions and help newbie bloggers and it was thanks to her and other bloggers like her that I started reviewing books for publishers. Becky has always been a huge supporter of British authors, she was the blogger who set up the British Books Challenge and she even managed to get Katherine Robert's book Song Quest back in print after campaigning to find it a new publisher. If you haven't come across Becky's blog before then you really should check it out!

Jo's blog is another one I found not long after I started blogging and she was also incredibly supportive to me as a newbie blogger. Jo was the blogger who arranged the first UK blogger meet up way back in 2010 which was how I ended up meeting quite a few of my blogging buddies who I'm still really good friends with. Jo puts a huge amount of effort into organising themed events on her blog so far she has organised months on sex in teen lit, body image and self perception, death and bereavement and most recently LGBQT YA. Each of her themed months have a fantastic selection of reviews, author interviews and guest posts that are very insightful and bring important issues to light. Jo is taking a mini break from blogging at the moment but I'm sure she'll be back very soon.

Michelle from Fluttering Butterflies

I didn't discover Michelle's blog until a couple of years ago, although she's been around since 2006 so she's an old hand, but it has become one of my favourite places to visit. Michelle is another strong supporter of British authors and puts a lot of effort into creating a list of UKYA published every month. She has various different features that cover everything from awesome women, to spotlighting British bloggers and she has also run themed weeks/months on love, mental health awareness, fairy tales & retellings, dystopian and paranormal books. What I love about Michelle is the fact that she comes up with so many interesting discussion posts and ideas for personal posts, that's something I don't tend to do a lot of here but she always inspires me to want to try new things. She is also one of the friendliest people you'll ever meet, she is so good at replying to comments and taking the time to comment on other people's blogs (something I really suck at recently!). I just love Michelle's blog and think Fluttering Butterflies should be on everyone's feed readers!

I could probably list a hundred more bloggers that have inspired me over the years but I promised myself I'd keep this list down to my top 3 so there you have it. I'm sure most of you are already following all of these blogs but if there are any you haven't come across before I'd definitely recommend checking them out!

Friday 18 October 2013

Review: Cursed - S.J. Harper (+ International Giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card)

Meet FBI Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong.

She’s cursed. He’s damned. Together, they make one hell of a team.

Emma Monroe is a Siren, cursed by the gods and bound to earth to atone for an ancient failure. She’s had many names and many lives, but only one mission: redemption. Now that she works missing persons cases for the FBI, it could be just a rescue away. Unless her new partner leads her astray.

Special Agent Zack Armstrong just transferred into the San Diego Field Office. He’s a werewolf, doing his best to beat back the demons from his dark and dangerous past. As a former Black Ops sniper, he’s taken enough lives. Now he’s doing penance by saving them.

Emma and Zack’s very first case draws them deep into the realm of the paranormal and forces them to use their own supernatural abilities. But that leaves each of them vulnerable, and there are lines partners should not cross. As secrets are revealed and more women go missing, one thing becomes clear: as they race to save the victims, Emma and Zack risk losing themselves.

Fallen Siren Series:
Captured (Novella)
Forsaken (Novella)

Visit S.J. Harper's website for more information

Emma is an immortal siren, cursed by the Goddess Demeter for failing to protect Persephone from Hades, she is forced to remain on earth until she has atoned for her sin. Emma must protect the innocent to redeem herself and she is forbidden from finding love and happiness until Demeter agrees that she has suffered enough. Zack has just transferred to Emma's FBI office and become her new partner, Emma knows that Zack is a werewolf but he has no idea that she is even aware of the supernatural community, let alone that she isn't human. Their latest investigation starts out as a simple missing person case but soon becomes a whole lot more complicated when they uncover more victims and realise that none of them were quite what they seemed. Working so closely together makes it very difficult for them to keep their secrets, especially when their case drags them deep into the supernatural community, but can they trust each other enough to share the full truth?

S.J. Harper is the pen name of the two authors Samantha Sommersby and Jeanne C. Stein, I hadn't actually read works by either of these authors before but having really enjoyed their collaboration I'll definitely be checking out some of their individual works in the future. Cursed is a great start to a new urban fantasy series and I'm already looking forward to getting my hands on the next book. I really liked both of the main characters and I enjoyed learning about the world the authors have created. The mystery was solid and kept my interest throughout and I hadn't guessed the who or why until quite near the end of the story.

Emma has spent centuries suffering for her failure to protect Persephone, she has no idea how far away she is from redemption and just has to keep on doing her best to protect the innocent in the hope that she will finally be given her freedom. She knows the cost of letting anyone get to close to her and it isn't something that she is prepared to let happen again so no matter how attracted she is to Zack she is determined not to act on it. Zack on the other hand knows exactly how good he and Emma are together and wants them to pursue a relationship, he doesn't understand her reluctance and finds it frustrating. They have a great working relationship and quickly become friends but he wants much more than that with her and he is a very difficult man to resist! I loved the will they / won't they element to their relationship, even though you know they could be great together we understand exactly what the stakes are and the odds are against them. I did find myself a little frustrated that Emma wouldn't be more upfront with Zack about the real reasons they couldn't be together but I could understand her fears and see why she kept her secrets so close to her chest. I have high hopes for the two of them in the future but I have no idea how they'll actually manage to get around Demeter's curse.

Alongside Emma and Zack we are introduced to some interesting side characters, particularly Emma's best friend Liz who is a powerful witch and a helpful ally. I'm also incredibly intrigued by a certain vampire and I'm wondering if Emma's sisters may have a role to play in future books. I'm looking forward to learning more about Zack's reasons for leaving his pack and moving to San Diego, and it will be interesting to see how things play out with his stalker ex-girlfriend too. Cursed is definitely an interesting start to the series and I have high hopes for future instalments. I just hope we don't have to wait too long for the next book to be released!

Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


International Giveaway:

As part of the Cursed blog tour S.J. Harper is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. You can enter the giveaway using the rafflecopter form below, the winner will be contacted directly by S.J. Harper so they can arrange sending the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday 17 October 2013

Review: The Edge of Never - J.A. Redmerski

Twenty-year-old Camryn has always known that she wants a life less ordinary. But when tragedy strikes, she boards the next bus leaving town, destination unknown. On a journey of self-discovery, she meets another lost soul, Andrew Parish, who harbours his own dark secrets . . .

Andrew shows Cam what it's like to live by your own rules and how good it feels to give in to your deepest, darkest desires. But the dark shadow of Andrew's secret is looming. Will it push them together - or tear them apart forever?

The Edge of Never Series:
The Edge of Never
The Edge of Always (November 2013)

Visit J.A. Redmerski's website for more information

Camryn has been struggling with depression since the death of her high school sweetheart and after a massive argument with her best friend she just needs to get away from it all. On impulse she packs a bag and buys a bus ticket for a random destination hoping that travelling across America will help give her time to think things through and plan for the future. It is on the bus that she meets Andrew who is travelling to see his dying father in the hospital. Cam is wary of Andrew at first but as they spend time together they grow close and Andrew helps her start to live life to the fullest again. But Andrew has a secret and when Cam finds out what it is it could leave her devastated.

The Edge of Never is another self published phenomenon that gained a huge following and has since been picked up by a publisher. I've seen a huge number of rave reviews for it so I went in with high expectations, possibly a little too high. Although this was an enjoyable story and one I'm glad I read it isn't without it's problems. The story seems to drag in the middle and I think it could have been a much more addictive read if it had been trimmed down a little, on the other hand I felt that the ending was a bit on the rushed side. There is a point where the story becomes incredibly emotional and when Andrew's secret was revealed it was like being punched in the gut but from that moment on everything moves incredibly quickly. I really would have loved more depth of how the revelation was handled by both characters and what they went through in the process, I'm sorry if that sounds a bit vague but I'm being very careful not to provide spoilers!

What I did love was how the characters took time to get to know each other before making declarations of love. I enjoyed getting to know both Cam and Andrew, seeing them spend time together and the way they became close friends. I could relate to Cam's feelings of depression and how she was struggling to see the positives in her life and I liked that Andrew helped to show her how to have fun and relax for a change. He brought the joy back into her life and helped her learn to loosen up and go with the flow which was exactly what she needed. I was also pleased that Cam was able to resolve her issues with her best friend Nat, the two of them had been incredibly close before and although Nat made a mistake I was glad that Cam was able to forgive her. Nat also showed her worth by dropping everything to be there for Cam when she really needed her.

J.A. Redmerski has a lot of skill as a writer to be able to make me care about her characters as much as she did. I believe that now she is working with a professional editor things like the issue with pacing will be much improved in future books and I'll be very interested to see how she grows as a writer. The Edge of Never works well as a stand alone but I'm happy that there is a sequel coming out soon because I like both Cam and Andrew and I'm looking forward to spending more time with them.

Source: Received from Harper in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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Paperback / Kindle:

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Review: Deja Voodoo - Elle James

A little magic goes a long way . . .

Alexandra Belle Boyette is closing in on the big 3-0 and her mama has made it her mission to marry her off. In the tiny parish of Bayou Miste, deep in the Louisiana swamps, finding suitable hubby material can be a challenge—and Alex would rather not rely on magical spells to do the trick. But there is a sexy new man in town who might fit the bill . . .

Ed Marceaux is in Bayou Miste to safeguard a key witness to a Louisiana Mafia murder. He must keep an eye out for suspicious characters—but the place seems to be full of them! What could be stranger than a woman dressed in a sexy nightgown chasing a naked man down the street? The enchantingly gorgeous Alex Boyette certainly makes it worth his while to find out . . .

Add a Voodoo spell gone wrong, and voila! madness—and love—ensues.

Cajun Magic Series:
Voodoo on the Bayou
Voodoo for Two
Deja Voodoo

Visit Elle James's website for more information

Deja Voodoo is the third book in Elle James's Cajun Magic series and was just as much fun to read as the previous books. These stories don't need to be read in order as they all feature a different main couple but you will find familiar characters re-appearing throughout the series and in this case our heroine Alex is the sister of Ben, the hero from Voodoo for Two. This is a really light hearted series full of hunky Cajun heroes and just a hint of magic but I think the thing I enjoy most about it is the Bayou setting.

As the oldest girl in the Boyette clan Alex has spent years taking care of her younger siblings so the last thing she wants is to get married and start having children of her own. She's happy to put her energy into her business and wants to live her own life for a change but her mother has other ideas and is constantly trying to set her up with eligible bachelors. Ed is a colleague of her brother Ben and he is in the Bayou to protect a witness for a murder trial. He has a job to do and isn't looking for any entanglements but everything about Alex gets his blood pumping and she isn't easy to stay away from. Throw in a magic spell gone awry and things are about to get interesting.

I love the Boyette family, they are such a huge family and although they have their arguments just like anyone else they're really close knit and protective of each other. As one of the oldest Alex is like a second mother to the younger ones and they all rely on her for advice and assistance. She's never really had the chance to go off and do her own thing but she doesn't resent that, she loves her family and would do anything for them but she's now ready to spread her wings and start to live a little. Ed is a great guy, he is protective and caring but he has a playful side that Alex brings out in him and they fit together really well. It doesn't help that Ed isn't able to come clean with Alex about why he is in town though, he is in disguise as a tourist so that people can't track down his witness and that isn't easy for him but they have something special and he is willing to work for it. I enjoyed the romance between these two, they were very sweet together.

There is a good amount of action to add some tension to the story and I have to tell you how much I loved the side story with Alex's dog Spot - I can't say more without giving spoilers but it was hilarious! Deja Voodoo was a nice addition to the series, I'm not sure if Elle James has more stories planned but if she does they'll definitely be on my wish list.

Source: Received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review

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